Paul Tobias joined St Joseph’s College as Deputy Principal in 1995 and in 2000 was appointed Principal. When Paul assumed the Principal’s role, he had a vision for the College. There were a number of things that he did immediately to enhance the reputation and culture of the College and to signal that he was an agent of change. Paul was the first Principal to appoint a female Deputy Principal to a Christian Brothers’ school on mainland Australia. Given that a significant proportion of the College staff were female, Paul recognised the importance of promoting women into the management team.
From his earliest days at the College, Paul championed cultural and school diversity. He was at the forefront of combatting homophobia, gaining student and community acceptance that our world today is diverse and that the need to be accepting of all people is of paramount importance.
In recognising that our students have many and varied talents, Paul provided all students with opportunities to develop as well rounded individuals, able to take advantage of future prospects in various walks of life. Paul actively encouraged students to get involved in a broad range of visual and performing arts subjects and activities and supported the creation of alternate pathways and programs in applied learning at the College such as VCAL.
Paul guided St Joseph’s through a period of steady and sustained growth which saw school enrolment numbers grow from around 1100 in 2000 to in excess of 1700 in 2016. From his early days, Paul recognised the need to provide a more attractive and appropriate learning environment for boys. In this regard he continually improved College grounds and facilities. In 2015, the Paul Tobias Centre was named in his honour, a fabulous facility encompassing Student Support Services, Careers, Staff areas and Board Rooms.
Under Paul’s guidance and leadership, the College achieved consistent improvement in the academic performance of students and enjoyed significant interest from families wishing to enrol their sons at St Joseph’s. The Paul Tobias ‘needs based scholarship’ was started in his honour and will continue to assist those who would otherwise be unable to attend St Joseph’s College Geelong.